How does Zero Waste actually work at the festival? There is hardly any other place where our throwaway mentality becomes as visible as at a festival. From the tent to the camping chair to the living room couch, everything is simply left behind after the event. Not to mention the packaging waste that accumulates during a festival. It's time to learn from this and use the obvious for more environmentally conscious events in the future.
In this article I would like to explain the advantages of a Zero Waste Festival and then give you my 20 best tips for waste reduction at the event.
Tip: If you want to reduce your waste not only at the festival but also in your everyday life, feel free to participate in my Online Course 30 Days To Zero Waste participate.
Why a Zero Waste Festival makes sense
This picture from the "Rock im Park" festival in Nuremberg₁ says more about the reasons and advantages of a Zero Waste festival than a thousand words. Garbage in all colors and shapes remains at the end of an event and suggests a less civilized society. In three days, around 88,000 people create 300 tons of trash here.₂ High time, then, to also organize festivals in the sense of the Zero Waste Lifestyle to introduce and promote.
The following reasons clearly speak for this and underline that we also consider the remnants of a festival as a Chance to the development of our society should see:
- Protect the environment: The trash left behind after a festival poses a great danger to our environment. Animals (e.g. ducks) get tangled in it or eat small parts like crown caps and other things that are hard to clean up. You can find more info about this in the article about the Plastic waste in the environment.
- Shaping society: At no other time do you see your self-produced garbage as clearly as after a few days at a festival. That's why we should fundamentally see festivals as an opportunity to make people more Environmental awareness and, in the long term, encourage both festival organizers and visitors to create or attend Zero Waste festivals.
What kind of trash is generated at a festival?
In order to be able to derive sensible tips, I would like to address in this short section once again, which garbage arises particularly frequently at a festival and/or finally remains behind.
- Sleeping mat
- Cans, bottles & crown corks
For example, there are fully functional tents left behind after a festival. Until recently, I honestly didn't even know about such a thing as disposable tents. All the accessories, such as pegs, are also left on the festival grounds.
In addition to large things like tents or even entire apartment furnishings, what remains above all is a lot of superfluous packaging waste back.
Participate: What do you remember most about your last festival? Feel free to give me more input in the comments so I can expand the list of tips even further.
20 valuable tips for your Zero Waste Festival
With the tips for avoiding waste at festivals that follow right away, you'll find that both sensible Preparation, through the own Behavior at the event, as well as in the Follow-up a lot of unnecessary waste can be avoided.
Notice: You don't have to implement everything at once. Try to improve a little bit at each festival and feel free to pass on the tips.
1. take lunch boxes
You can just take 2-3 reusable bread boxes with you and get meals on the spot from Food Trucks or other stands. Just ask nicely, usually no one refuses.
Tip: Just use your old Tepper cans or get cool Stainless steel lunch boxes.
Just cook yourself a little more than you can eat in the days leading up to the event and prepare the first Meals and small Snacks already prepared for the festival. In the bread box you can then transport and store the meals.
Tip: You can get a little inspiration in our Natural Nutrition Blog get
3. coordinate with the others
As long as you're not going to the festival alone, you can coordinate with your friends to avoid trash and bringing double anything. Maybe even develop a Sense of communityto have one of the cleanest campsites for the entire duration of the festival.
4. do not forget your own water bottle & cup
Of course, to stick to your Zero Waste plan at the festival, you should also have your own Drinking bottle, a Cup or Glasses and if necessary also a small Glass for "short bring along. So you save the masses of waste from plastic bottles and disposable drinking cups.
5. fill up tap water
Water from plastic bottles is in comparison with tap water up to 400x more expensive and also creates unnecessary plastic waste at the festival. Instead you can simply Regularly fill tap water into your water bottle that you bring with you. This saves money and a lot of waste.
Tip: Depending on the festival and your own location on the site, it may also be worthwhile to purchase a Canisters, which you fill once with water to save yourself a lot of long walks with the water bottle. This will be especially helpful when it's so hot that you're especially drink a lot of water must.
6. pack own plates & cutlery
What applies to the drinks at a Zero Waste Festival also applies to your food. You should bring your own plates and cutlery. But please not from Plastic, but reusable and washable - for example, stainless steel or porcelain.
When preparing for the festival, simply wrap them in cloth towels and transport them in your backpack or a cloth bag. Then everything stays intact and you avoid an incredible amount of waste.
7. cloth napkins and handkerchiefs
As already briefly mentioned in the previous tip, you can take a few cloth towels with you to the festival. With them, you can not only protect your dishes, but also rinse or dry them, for example.
Tip: For Zero Waste at the festival I also recommend you several reusable napkins respectively washable cloth handkerchiefs to take with you. After the event, you can just wash them all together.
8. make confetti yourself
Confetti is thrown at almost every festival - that's part of it somehow. However, confetti is usually made of plastic and therefore remains in the environment for a long time. Confetti made of paper also has the disadvantage that it is very difficult or impossible to collect.
The natural alternative is homemade biodegradable confetti, for example, from leaves of leaves. In the article about the plastic free confetti make yourselfyou'll find out how easy it is.
9. take storm stove
With a storm stove you can prepare something delicious directly at your campsite without electricity. As shown in the video above, simply gather a few dry, small branches and set them on fire. Then you can, for example, boil up some noodles that you have brought from your campsite. plastic free shopping you brought with you.
This outdoor storm stove* is highly recommended for your Zero Waste Festival, for example.
10. make mosquito repellent yourself
Everyone knows how annoying mosquitoes can get at a festival. Most often is plastic vial with Anti-mosquito spray with it. But you can usually save the resulting waste. Simply make your own mosquito spray - for example, with a spray bottle, 4 tablespoons of vodka, essential oils and boiled water.
11. use natural sunscreen
For your next festival you can check out these natural sunscreen without plastic which is made from apricot kernel oil. You get it in a reusable jar - completely without microplastics and other chemical ingredients.
If you're up for a little DIY, you can check out the Sunscreen also easy to make yourself. You can find the instructions in the linked article.
12. take plastic free toilet paper or podusche with you.
For your Zero Waste Festival you should Toilet paper plastic free get or alternatively even a Podusche take with you. Even if the latter takes a little getting used to, you can save a lot of paper with it and achieve the same cleanliness as you are used to from toilet paper.
13. use pocket ashtray
Can't stand it without a smoke for the duration of the festival? Unfortunately cigarette butts harm our environment especially because they are so small and inconspicuous. In order to avoid waste in the sense of the zero waste idea, you should get yourself a Pocket ashtray get through which you will never again throw a cigarette on the floor.
This pocket ashtray* is absolutely recommended.
14. fingers away from disposable tents
Until recently, I didn't even know there was such a thing as disposable tents. But after a festival, you see that they are bought en masse for one-time use at an event. For your zero waste festival visit, you should obviously use a tent that is reusable for the long term. The same goes for a gazebo, of course.
15. use solid shampoo & shower gel
Even though this tip is basically a good idea for waste reduction, it is of course especially true for Zero Waste at festivals. Through such a solid bar soap for skin and hair you save unnecessary waste from plastic packaging. In addition, most bar soaps are based on herbal ingredients, whereby neither Microplastics nor have to worry about other toxins in your shampoo.
16. pack washable makeup removal pads
Are you also one of those people who put on makeup at a festival event? An absolutely sensible purchase in the fight against waste at the event are therefore such reusable cotton makeup remover pads. You can just wash them once you get back home and really save tons of disposable waste by using them.
17. also take other people's garbage sometimes
Just as we do with our self-organized Beach CleanUps you can also take the opportunity to make a few changes at a festival event. Pick up garbage of others. This is not only a valuable contribution to environmental protection, but also gives you a nice feeling yourself.
18. collect garbage sensibly from the beginning
Not always garbage can be avoided at the festival to 100%. There's nothing wrong with that either. Just collect your trash from the first moment in a bag, so that it can not spread in the environment. At the end of the event, simply hand it in to the organizer or to the designated collection points.
19. prefer festivals without garbage
Organizers are only human - and some are very committed to waste prevention, others less so. Therefore, it makes sense to check out the festivals that make it easy for their visitors to produce less waste.
For example, the Street Food Festival in Cologne, Mainz, Düsseldorf or Frankfurt are now geared toward the zero waste lifestyle.
20. point out problems to organizers
Should your festival event still be a real Garbage disposal then it is worth contacting the organizer. Like that with the App Replace Plastic works for products in the supermarket, this works Redesign and change in the spirit of the Zero Waste lifestyle of course also at something like a festival.
By sending a friendly email or making a phone call, you can get organizers thinking. Just make a suggestion for improvement - the more people do, the faster things will change.
Zero Waste at the festival is easy!
Maybe not everything works out as planned and there is some trash. That's not a bad thing - because from festival to festival you learn more, so that in the course of time others will also benefit from your experience.
By using the simplest tips & tricks, you can already save large amounts of waste at the next event and protect our nature. This is besides the Zero Waste thought also completely in the sense of the plastic-free lifestyle.
Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences with Zero Waste at the festival that you would like to share? Then feel free to leave me a comment. Also feel free to share this article so that as many people as possible learn how you can easily avoid waste at the festival.
PS: Do you also want to avoid more waste in your everyday life? Then take a look at the Zero Waste Blog here at CareElite. For example, the article about sustainable lifehacks of our grandparents can help you with certainty.